After Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery, Counseling Can Help Improve Results
Weight loss doesn’t happen instantaneously after bariatric surgery. For meaningful, long-term results, patients need to make a conscious effort to follow a healthful diet, control their portions, stay physically active, and be mindful of their stress levels and emotions. And, when it comes to significant weight loss, accountability and encouragement are important as well. With the proper combination of consistency, dedication, and support, it’s more than possible for patients to reach their goals.
After bariatric surgery, patients will need to:
- Carefully follow a prescribed diet plan, often consisting exclusively of liquids and pureed foods for the first few weeks, with small portions of regular food introduced thereafter
- Select healthful foods such as vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and appropriate portions of whole grains, while avoiding or severely limiting consumption of fatty foods, sweets, and alcoholic beverages.
- Hydrate proactively (fluid consumption helps reduce the likelihood of dehydration, constipation, kidney stones, and other potential postoperative complications)
- Adhere to a careful supplementation regimen, often consisting of multivitamins, iron and vitamin D supplements, and any other necessary medications
- Follow their physician’s recommendations for daily activity levels (most patients are advised to get approximately 150 minutes of exercise each week after recovering from a weight loss surgery, but requirements may vary from person to person)
At Tampa General Hospital, weight loss surgery is only the beginning of a life-long journey, and our patients don’t have to go it alone. We offer a comprehensive range of services that are designed to help patients jump-start their weight loss and maintain their results after bariatric surgery. For instance, our dietitians can provide meal plans and nutritional guidance, our psychologists can outline healthy emotional coping strategies, and our experienced bariatricians can care for any post-operative complications that might arise. Additionally, patients can participate in support groups that focus on real-life issues such as adjusting to a new body, ordering meals when eating out, handling medications, and avoiding stress eating.